NENEH CHERRY SHARES DETAILS OF NEW ALBUM BLANK PROJECT OUT 25th FEBRUARY 2014/26th FEBRUARY IN THE US ON SMALLTOWN SUPERSOUND
Following last month’s announcement that Neneh Cherry will release her first solo album in 16 years – a collaboration with RocketNumberNine, produced by Four Tet, and featuring a guest appearance by Robyn – Neneh is now ready to share further details of this forthcoming record with the world.
The 10-track album, recorded and mixed over a 5-day period, will be titled Blank Project, and it will be out February Monday 25th (UK/Europe) Tuesday 26th (US) 2014 on Smalltown Supersound. It follows 2012’s The Cherry Thing, a collaborative record with free jazz, noise collective The Thing, which featured new versions of songs by The Stooges, MF Doom, Ornette Coleman, amongst others.
While her energy and demeanor may not have changed since the days of Rip Rig + Panic, musically, Blank Project is a departure from anything Neneh has previously done, initially written as a means of working through personal tragedy. What stands out upon first listen is the album’s sparseness: loose drums and a few synthesizers are the only accompaniment to Neneh’s wildly poetic, sometimes-spoken, sometimes-screeching, soul-flooded and raw vocals. The space created by this minimal aesthetic leaves room for occasional pistes and flurries of rapid, yet throbbing and thunderous instrumentation. Featuring combined elements of beat poetry, avant-electronica and beautiful vocal melodies, it’s a record that uses simple ideas to create something entirely original. And despite the personal struggles Neneh was working through in writing this new material, the songs are far from introverted.
As many are aware, the stories from Neneh’s early years are astonishing. She spent her childhood living 50/50 between a loft in New York and in the South of Sweden with her mother and stepfather, the legendary jazz musician Don Cherry. She’s been lifted onto Miles Davis’ lap, Allen Ginsberg regularly passed through their home in an evening and as she got older, she could pop in on Arthur Russell, Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers who all lived in the same loft complex in Long Island City, New York.
At 14, she started taking trips to Harlem with Ari Up of the Slits at a time when few would venture so far uptown. Soon after, she left home and moved to London, and spent the next 20 years inside the crucial developments in British subculture. As post-punk became the site of 80s Britain’s artistic and political resistance, she helped form the anarchic multi-ethnic, multi-genre Rip, Rig + Panic, and she was one of the first to bring hip-hop culture to a British audience with “Buffalo Stance” and Raw Like Sushi. Although at points her career had brushes with the mainstream, Neneh remained staunchly counter-culture.
Through post-punk’s adherence to mixed-race line-ups and anti-government stance, to UK rap’s refusal of the conventions of pop, trip-hop’s connection with the politicized elements of rave culture and, through 1996’s Man, where Neneh introduced elements of Senegalese language to mainstream audiences for the first time via the mammoth “7 Seconds” single featuring Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, and now, with Blank Project, Neneh continues to arrive at moments in musical history when there is an opportunity to subvert ideas of popular culture. She is subverting once again, only this time, although this record is musically bold, Neneh sees the stasis she’s challenging isn’t musical or societal, but her own.
‘Blank Project’ Tracklisting:
01. Across The Water 02. Blank Project 03. Naked 04. Spit Three Times 05. Weightless 06. Cynical 07. 422 08. Out Of The Black (featuring Robyn) 09. Dossier 10. Everything
part of the album ‘BOOT’, to be released on The Thing Records Nov 12th, 2013
Produced by THE THING
Mats Gustafsson – bass saxophone Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – electric bass Paal Nilssen – Love – drums
Recorded February 11- 13th 2013 by Martin Siewert at Grand Sport studio, Oslo Mixed April 2013 by Martin Siewert and Mats Gustafsson at Garnison7, Vienna Mastered for CD by Martin Siewert and Olof Madsen Art direction by Lasse Marhaug
THE THING RECORDS IN ASSOCIATION WITH TROST RECORDS
Ingram Marshall’s piece Alcatraz is a soundtrack of sorts, something to accompany memory and imagination.
Now it’s become an actual soundtrack to Jim Bengston’s still photography of the island prison, with a surround-sound version of the music, and you can get it on this DVD release out October 29 (it also includes a haunting new collaboration between the two, Eberbach). It’s an involving and beautiful way to experience music that is already immersive.
And if you are in and around New York City, you can catch the release event, Sunday, October 27, noon - 2pm, at Spectrum.
Brian Carpenter, trumpet, voice, arrangements Dennis Lichtman, clarinet Andy Laster, alto saxophone, flute Petr Cancura, tenor saxophone, clarinet Curtis Hasselbring, trombone Ron Caswell, tuba Mazz Swift, violin Tanya Kalmanovitch, viola Avi Bortnick, guitar Michael Bates, double bass Rob Garcia, drums
GUESTS Matt Samolis, flute on “Revolt of the Yes Men” and “The Children Met The Train” Brandon Seabrook, banjo on “The Happy Farmer”
BOOK OF RHAPSODIES CHOIR Yolanda Scott, soprano Katie Seiler, mezzo-soprano Mazz Swift, alto Tomas Cruz, tenor Brian Carpenter, baritone Joe Chappel, bass
Produced by Brian Carpenter and Danny Blume Recorded April 2012 by Danny Blume and Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording Studios, Brooklyn NY Choir recorded January 2013 by Bryce Goggin at Trout Recording Studios, Brooklyn NY Additional recordings by Rafi Sofer at Q Division Studios, Somerville MA Assistant Engineer: Rick Kwan Mixed February-May 2013 by Danny Blume and Brian Carpenter Cover artwork: Noah Woods